Herbert Spencer Quotes

Enjoy the top 189 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Herbert Spencer.

Herbert Spencer Quotes

The cruelty of a Fijian god, who, represented as devouring the souls of the dead, may be supposed to inflict torture during the process, is small compared with the cruelty of a God who condemns men to tortures which are eternal.
— Herbert Spencer —

Whatever fosters militarism makes for barbarism; whatever fosters peace makes for civilization.

— Herbert Spencer

Consumptive patients, with lungs incompetent to perform the duties of lungs, people with defective hearts that break down under excitement of the circulation, people with any constitutional flaw preventing the due fulfillment of the conditions of life are continually dying out and leaving behind those fit for the climate, food, and habits to which they are born ... And thus is the race kept free from vitiation.

— Herbert Spencer

Life is the continuous adjustment of internal relations to external relations.

— Herbert Spencer

Marriage: A word which should be pronounced 'mirage'.

— Herbert Spencer

No one can be perfectly free till all are free; no one can be perfectly moral till all are moral; no one can be perfectly happy till all are happy.

— Herbert Spencer

Divine right of kings means the divine right of anyone who can get uppermost.

— Herbert Spencer

People ... become so preoccupied with the means by which an end is achieved, as eventually to mistake it for the end. Just as money, which is a means of satisfying wants, comes to be regarded by a miser as the sole thing to be worked for, leaving the wants unsatisfied; so the conduct men have found preferable because most conducive to happiness, has come to be thought of as intrinsically preferable: not only to be made a proximate end (which it should be), but to be made an ultimate end, to the exclusion of the true ultimate end.

— Herbert Spencer

It is a mistake to assume that government must necessarily last forever. The institution marks a certain stage of civilization-is natural to a particular phase of human development. It is not essential, but incidental. As amongst the Bushmen we find a state antecedent to government, so may there be one in which it shall have become extinct.

— Herbert Spencer

Religion is the recognition that all things are manifestations of a Power which transcends our knowledge.

— Herbert Spencer

Religion has been compelled by science to give up one after another of its dogmas ...

— Herbert Spencer

Life is not for learning nor is life for working, but learning and working are for life.

— Herbert Spencer

So far from science being irreligious, as many think, it is the neglect of science that is irreligious-it is the refusal to study the surrounding creation that is irreligious.

— Herbert Spencer

Any piece of knowledge which the pupil has himself acquired- any problem which he has himself solved, becomes, by virtue of the conquest, much more thoroughly his than it could else be. The preliminary activity of mind which his success implies, the concentration of thought necessary to it, and the excitement consequent on his triumph, conspire to register the facts in his memory in a way that no mere information heard from a teacher, or read in a schoolbook, can be registered.

— Herbert Spencer

Reading is seeing by proxy.

— Herbert Spencer

Progress is not an accident, not a thing within human control, but a beneficent necessity ... due to the working of a universal law. So surely must the things we call evil and immorality disappear; so surely must man become perfect.

— Herbert Spencer

Courage is worthy of respect when displayed in the maintenance of legitimate claims and in the repelling of aggressions, bodily or other. Courage is worthy of yet higher respect when danger is faced in defence of claims common to self and others, as in resistance to invasion. Courage is worthy of the highest respect when risk to life or limb is dared in defence of others.

— Herbert Spencer

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